Junior Board member Ashley Parker’s “Why JMF” has empowered her to become an advocate for herself and others.

My name is Ashley Parker, and I am a sophomore at Monrovia High School. I am very proud of being part of JMF as a presenter for the disABILITY Awareness program, We Step Up leader, and a member of the Junior Board of Directors.

In January 2017, I was asked to present for the disABILITY Awareness program about living with my hearing loss. As I learned more about JMF and all that they do for kids with disabilities and their families, I decided that I wanted to be active with the Junior Board. Since I am such an advocate for myself and others with disabilities, I knew that getting more involved with JMF would be an amazing opportunity. Being part of JMF has helped me become a bigger advocate for myself and for others. I am more confident in defending others when I see people teasing children and adults with disabilities.

I think people need to know the strength in the JMF community. JMF is a large family and everyone knows each other. There have been multiple times that I have walked in to the Center and someone said “Oh, we were just talking about you yesterday.” Now that I am part of JMF, it has been interesting all of the places that I have been where I either met someone who is associated with JMF or have seen a JMF shirt that someone was wearing. JMF staff have made it their job to serve children of all abilities, as well as to help their families support children with disabilities.

At our Junior Board retreat over the summer, we all constructed our “why JMF,” which is exactly what it sounds like. My “why JMF” is that I appreciate all of the work that JMF does to help families.  I want to be able to help families because I can relate to what these kids and their families are going through.  Even just one small thing can help someone become empowered. JMF is one of the best organizations that I could have ever become a part of. I can’t wait for the upcoming years with JMF!

Post written by:  Ashley Parker

Junior Board member

Monrovia High School, Class of 2020